Secondary causes of hyperlipidemia:Secondary causes of hyperlipidemia , such as uncontrolled type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, nephrotic syndrome, dysproteinemia, obstructive liver disease, pharmacological treatment, alcoholism, should be adequately treated before fenofibrate therapy is considered.
Renal function Treatment should be interrupted in case of an increase in creatinine levels > 50% ULN (upper limit of normal). It is recommended that creatinine is measured during the first three months after initiation of treatment and thereafter periodically (for dose recommendations, see section 4.2).
Liver functionAs with other lipid lowering agents, increases have been reported in transaminase levels in some patients. In the majority of cases these elevations were transient, minor and asymptomatic. It is recommended that transaminase levels are monitored every 3 months during the first 12 months of treatment and thereafter periodically. Attention should be paid to patients who develop increase in transaminase levels and therapy should be discontinued if AST (SGOT) and ALT (SGPT) levels increase to more than 3 times the upper limit of the normal range. When symptoms indicative of hepatitis occur (e.g. jaundice, pruritus), and diagnosis is confirmed by laboratory testing, fenofibrate therapy should be discontinued.
Pancreas:Pancreatitis has been reported in patients taking fenofibrate (see sections 4.3 and 4.8). This occurrence may represent a failure of efficacy in patients with severe hypertriglyceridaemia, a direct drug effect, or a secondary phenomenon mediated through biliary tract stone or sludge formation with obstruction of the common bile duct.
Muscle:Muscle toxicity, including rare cases of rhabdomyolysis, with or without renal failure, has been reported with administration of fibrates and other lipid-lowering agents. The incidence of this disorder increases in cases of hypoalbuminaemia and previous renal insufficiency. Patients with pre-disposing factors for myopathy and/or rhabdomyolysis, including age above 70 years, personal or familial history of hereditary muscular disorders, renal impairment, hypothyroidism and high alcohol intake, may be at an increased risk of developing rhabdomyolysis. For these patients, the putative benefits and risks of fenofibrate therapy should be carefully weighed up.Muscle toxicity should be suspected in patients presenting diffuse myalgia, myositis, muscular cramps and weakness and/or marked increases in CPK (levels exceeding 5 times the normal range). In such cases treatment with fenofibrate should be stopped.The risk of muscle toxicity may be increased if the drug is administered with another fibrate or an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, especially in cases of pre-existing muscular disease. Consequently, the co-prescription of fenofibrate with a HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor or another fibrate should be reserved to patients with severe combined dyslipidaemia and high cardiovascular risk without any history of muscular disease and a close monitoring of potential muscle toxicity. For hyperlipidaemic patients taking oestrogens or contraceptives containing oestrogen it should be ascertained whether the hyperlipidaemia is of primary or secondary nature (possible elevation of lipid values caused by oral oestrogen).
Excipients:As this medicinal product contains Lactose, patients with rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, the Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption should not take this medicine.
In childrenOnly an hereditary disease (familial hyperlipidaemia) justifies early treatment, and the precise nature of the hyperlipidaemia must be determined by genetic and laboratory investigations. It is recommended to begin treatment with controlled dietary restrictions for a period of at least 3 months. Proceeding to medicinal treatment should only be considered after specialist advice and only in severe forms with clinical signs of atherosclerosis and/or xanthomata and/or in cases where patients suffer from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease before the age of 40.